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USA, 2008, 93 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Documentary, Social Issues
Programs: Films in Competition, Documentary FilmsLanguage: Portuguese, English English Subtitles
DIRECTOR: Daniel Junge
Producer: Henry Ansbacher, Nigel NobleEditor: Davis CoombeCinematographer: Daniel Junge, Marcela BourseauPrincipal Cast: Narrated by Martin SheenUS Distributor: Just Media
MUST END Thursday, December 11
Digital presentation - They Killed Sister Dorothy chronicles the legal proceedings that followed the execution-style murder of Sister Dorothy Stang. At seventy-three, the Catholic nun and activist had lived in Brazil for thirty years, collaborating with the government to establish sustainable development in a remote corner of the Amazon. But along the way, she had made enemies among the ranchers who stood to benefit from the exploitation of the rainforest and its natural resources. In 2005, she was shot six times at point-blank range. Two men were arrested for the killing, but it quickly became clear that her death was part of a much greater conspiracy.
Archival footage featuring the so-called Angel of the Amazon supplements interviews with her brother and best friend, who are seeking justice in the case. But when Colorado-based filmmaker Daniel Junge and his crew gain access to the courtroom proceedings, it is the shockingly candid encounters they have with the men who confessed, the ranchers accused of hiring them, the defense lawyers, and a federal prosecutor that really shed light on the circumstances of Sister Dorothy’s death—as well as on the struggle over the future of the rainforest within a dangerously corrupt system often compared to that of the Old Wild West. Junge’s credits include numerous award-winning PBS-aired docs like Chiefs, which follows Wyoming Indian High School’s basketball team, and Iron Ladies of Liberia (SDFF 30), about Africa’s first elected female president. Coproduced by Academy Award winner Nigel Noble, They Killed Sister Dorothy also features a score by Pedro Bromfman, whose latest project, Tropa de Elite, won a Golden Bear at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival.
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